Synopsis by Mark Deming
In 1954, one of the most notorious erotic novels of the 20th century was published -- The Story of O by Pauline Reage, which chronicled in breathless detail the intense sadomasochistic relationship between a submissive woman and a dominant man. For many years, many believed that Pauline Reage was a pseudonym for a male author, but as it turns out that was only half true. In 1994, journalist John de St. Jorre, while researching a book on Olympia Press (the fearless French publisher who first published the book) learned that Pauline Reage was in fact Dominique Aury, a well-respected and outwardly straight-laced editor for one of Europe's most prestigious publishing houses, Gallimard, who wrote the salacious volume for her lover, another powerful editor at Gallimard, Jean Paulhan. American filmmaker Pola Rapaport, who was powerfully effected by reading The Story of O, traveled to Paris to meet and interview Aury a few years before her death, and Writer of O is a documentary which blends the story of Aury's remarkable life and times with re-creations of scenes from her best-known work.
censorship, dramatization, eroticism, feminism, inspiration, life-story, literature, love, love-affair, novel, secret-identity, sex, writer